New Aston Villa signing Stephen Warnock believes their new-look defence will be the cornerstone for future success. New signings Warnock, Richard Dunne and James Collins all made their debuts in Sunday's 1-0 win over local rivals Birmingham.
"It's terrific to start with a win and a clean sheet in a local derby away from home - there's no better feeling for a defender," Warnock told the Daily Mirror.
"The three new lads only found out just before the game, when the team was read out, that we were all playing, although the manager gave us a clue the night before because he pulled myself, James and Richard aside individually and told us what he expected.
"But we've only been training together for a few days all week and I think we've gelled together very quickly. It looked good straight away today and there was plenty of talking between the back four, which is what you need, so we came through it well - and the result speaks for itself.
"I might seem quiet now but I'm a different person on the pitch, screaming at Dunny and the people around me all the time. Richard's the same, and so is James Collins. I think myself and Richard are quite quiet lads around the place, but go into a game and it's a different thing.
"At the back you've got to talk - because if you don't, then you are not going to get anywhere in this league.
"I wouldn't know whether that's something Villa have lacked in the past because I've not been here, but talking is so important. I grew up with Jamie Carragher at Liverpool and he never shut up during a game - he always kept you on your toes, and if you've got four players across the back doing that it's going to make life a lot easier.
"If we can keep it tight at our end of the field, we are always going to create at the other end.
The pace and ability of the lads up front is fantastic. You know they are going to get chances and, once we scored, we had a couple more on the break.
"I'm looking forward to playing with either Ashley Young or James Milner in front of me - hopefully I can just knock the ball forward and let them get on with it. I certainly won't try and run past them on the overlap because I won't catch either of them!"